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Celebrating a Return to Connection and Community Through the Great Give

December 20, 2021

The Great Give is a signature event that we look forward to each year, both because we get to connect with each other outside the office and because of the profound impact we can have on our communities as a whole. There’s an incredible amount of momentum surrounding our annual day of service that, for the past 13 years, has brought us together with a shared sense of purpose. With a fully virtual Great Give in 2020, though, we were missing an element of togetherness that our people hold dear. As a firm, we love to give back, but we also really like to give back together!

After the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced us to adjust the way we connect with each other and help others in need, the Great Give returned to its original form stronger than ever in 2021, much to the joy of our people and the communities we serve.

Rejoining Each Other in Our Communities

As we’ve done for past Great Gives, we closed down for the day and partnered with nonprofits in each of the cities where we have offices to spend the day donating our time and talents to causes we care about. We had opportunities to tackle many different types of projects, including beautifying parks, improving playgrounds, cleaning up beaches and serving groceries to families in need. We were excited about the range of volunteer options, and we were especially motivated to get out there when we were helping alongside coworkers and friends.

The return of in-person volunteering also required us to ensure safety and adherence with local COVID-19 protocols. At every Great Give event, we planned accordingly so that we could savor the opportunity to help others and reconnect with our colleagues. An abundance of outdoor projects helped us do just that. We know our employees and community partners care about safety, so we listened to what we were hearing and made safety a priority.

In many instances, our return to in-person volunteering at the Great Give marked the first time organizations welcomed volunteers since COVID-19 lockdowns began in March 2020. Our volunteers at the Oakland Museum of California shared how they were able to fill the gap for an organization that was feeling the effects of a volunteer shortage. They spent the day improving the grounds, providing a significant boost and accomplishing much more than the museum’s single groundskeeper would be able to do in a month.

New Team Members Across the Nation Took Part

This year’s Great Give was the first for many of our people. We carried forth the traditions of community connectedness and service in locations where Armanino has added team members through combinations with other firms, solidifying our shared commitment to service.

In St. Louis, one of newly added locales, our new team members gathered to serve the Promise Community Homes, Ronald McDonald House and United Way of Greater St. Louis, among other organizations. Our other newly opened offices in New York and Chicago gave back to organizations involving the arts and the fight against hunger. In Austin, where Armanino will soon add team members from Holtzman Partners, there was incredible turnout to benefit the Austin Humane Society, Austin Parks Foundation, BookSpring, Helping Hand Home and Austin Pets Alive.

Our remote employees also spent time with community organizations where they live, bringing the Armanino spirit to a broader range of locations than ever. In some locations, remote employees who live close to each other teamed up for in-person activities, forging bonds and friendship through the act of volunteering together.

The incredible firmwide response to the call for action through the Great Give signifies the strength of our shared values, whether our team members have been part of the Great Give since its beginning or this year’s event was their first. No matter where you were or what activity you chose, you could feel the energy and connection of our collective outreach.

Virtual Volunteering Expanded Our Community Outreach

One thing we learned in 2020 was that virtual volunteering plays a key role in giving back to our communities, enabling us to reach more organizations with more Armanino volunteers regardless of where organizations and our people are located.

This year, we continued to offer virtual volunteer options like those that were part of our fully virtual Great Give 2020, partnering with organizations including: Meals on Wheels; Career Village; Donate Life, Be the Match; Golden State Opportunity; Junior Achievement; MindsEye Radio; Momentum for Health; Operation Gratitude; Sepsis Alliance and Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Even though we were able to get together in person for the Great Give this year, we still value these flexible options to give back and to make a greater impact. Some of our team members were able to participate as a virtual volunteer with multiple community partners.

In the Face of Change, We Remain Creative and Flexible

The Great Give is not only an event our people cherish and a cornerstone of our culture, it’s also a reflection of how we’ve learned to be flexible and resilient in the face of change.

While we may never have imagined that we’d have virtual volunteering, it’s now solidly part of our hybrid volunteering model and something we expect to continue. No matter what the future holds, we’re certain the Great Give will keep reflecting our creativity and ingenuity as we find new ways to do more for others.

Armanino’s business growth throughout the U.S. also means that the Great Give will continue to increase its influence, ultimately benefiting more people throughout the nation. As we grow, so will the Great Give, and we’re energized by a future where we offer even greater support for the communities we serve.

Read about the Armanino Foundation and its part in the Great Give.

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